Who likes to make holiday cards (and gift tags)? December classes at two locations!

I know Thanksgiving is looming for most of us, but I wanted to share some upcoming classes with you this week!

I made up the samples for these two classes and was reminded that making cards is fun! When I was younger, and my card list a lot shorter, I used to make my own cards every year. Then I got into the trend for a few (10+) years of sending photo cards. Last year I got back into handmade cards and sent handmade postcards for the holidays. I loved making and sending those out; something a little different for the mailbox, right?

 Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Well this year you have the chance to make two types of cards (or gift tags if you already have your cards made…) with me!

The first class is 12/5 7-9pm at Circle of Stitches in Salem, MA. In this class we will be focused on blockprinting with the end result to make a few stamps to use on cards and tags. Having your own stamps means you can cover cards, tags, gift wrap, and other items with your own design in any color you choose! For this class, wee will stamp onto plain paper and then attach that to a card or tag base. I will bring all the materials (note: there is a $10 materials fee for this class). Sign up over at the Circle of Stitches website.

 Collage Cards 12/7

Collage Cards 12/7

The second class is 12/7 1-3pm (yes, in the afternoon) at Newburyport Art Association. In this class we will be collage-ing our way into the holidays. Newburyport Art Association will provide lots of fun papers and ideas to get you started as well as the card/tag bases. I will bring a few store bought stamps to share as well. Note that the class I am leading is for adults only, but there is one for families on 12/8 led by Sue Spellman if you are interested. Choose the right time for you at check-out over at the Newburyport Art Association website.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season friends!!

Ubuntu Journal Flip Thru

Over with Get Messy I participated in the “Season of Ubuntu”. I’ve talked about Get Messy before on the blog, have a look here for more details. The season format really gets me making on a daily basis and this season we were encouraged to work small. I chose a small journal that I had made from scraps of different papers. At first I was worried it was going to have too many pages for the two month season, but I added in the lessons from Messy Marks, a class offered by Torri at Fox and Hazel (also on Get Messy’s membership site). I really love how this little book turned out!

Enjoy the flip thru!

Intuitive Journals from class with Orly Avineri

At the start of October I attended a week long retreat with artist Orly Avineri at Unity Farm Sanctuary in Sherborn, MA. I thought it might be nice to share my journals from this class. I would say they are very much still in process…and may be “in process” for a long time. Something about that is so comforting to me. I don’t feel the need to finish these; I actually don’t know if they could ever BE finished! I have continued to add to them since the class. I love having them on the side of my desk when inspiration strikes. Enjoy this little flip through!

Celebrating Halloween - Phases of the Moon Blockprinting Class


This coming Friday I am going to be teaching a new blockprinting class in Salem, MA. Salem is a hub for Halloween festivities throughout the month of October and there are many super fun things to do there. My friend Ana Campos, owner of Circle of Stitches, asked if I would teach a class that might fit with the Halloween theme at her shop this month. We came up with the idea of a class where students will make stamps to capture 5 phases of the moon.

In this class, students will make three stamps with an option for a fourth. I will demo a choice for a new moon or a full moon-or both. You can see the difference in the photo to the right.

I will offer printing in silver or white on black paper or black onto white paper. We will get to use a gelli plate as a large stamp pad for the white and silver paints-fun! The finished print will be something suitable for framing. Plus, students will bring the stamps home and can make more prints as they wish. These can be printed on dishtowels and light cotton fabric (using fabric paint for wash-ability) as well as many types of papers.

Should be a fun night! If you are interested register at Circle of Stitches directly.

 Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

September daily journal challenge

This month I took the September 30 days of art journalling challenge on Creative Bug led by Lauren and Caylee of Get Messy. As a lifetime Get Messy member I did get the class for free and two months of Creative Bug also… what a steal!

While I don’t love every page, there are some good nuggets in here for sure! I also was more productive overall by getting that journal open every day. Kicked off a lot of other creative projects this month.

Creative challenges for the win! Here is a flip through video of my entire journal. Enjoy!

Season of Seasons pages

The past two months was the Seasons of Seasons over at Get Messy. I used a travel brochure I received in the mail as my journal this time. There are nine spreads plus the covers, so I basically followed along with the tutorials offered by the creative team. Get Messy also does a handful of prompts every week, but I knew I wouldn’t have the time for those, so I didn’t factor that into my journal size.

I always enjoy the tutorials! This month there were a few outside of my comfort zone, like the seasonal map and drawing the contents of my purse (which was the last one and definitely got the least attention). I am not sure those are my style, but they were still fun to do.


Oil Pastel Sketches

You may remember that I mentioned the series of cold wax oil paintings I’m working on in an earlier blog post. They have been sitting in the studio…simmering (thanks to Tiffany Han for the word—simmer—that perfectly describes this phase of a new idea) for a month or more. While they have been on the back burner I have taken a landscape painting class, completed a number of collages based on landscapes, and done a ton of landscape sketches.

Then, last week I got out my oil pastels and sketched out more landscapes on pages in a paper bag journal (that also holds the collages …shared here).

Ohhhh boy…oil pastels are so fun to work with. Each day I was super excited to get back to these. When completed, I covered each page with Matte Varnish and there is a sheet of wax paper between each page as they really stick together.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve moved the paintings to the front burner. I shared some process on my Instagram Highlights. But for now, here are a few of my favorite oil pastel sketches from this week! Also, bought some oil sticks… oh I can’t wait to use those!

Pressing Matters - MGNE Open Members Show September 28-November 2, 2018

 My print “Mandala: Peace” ready for hanging

My print “Mandala: Peace” ready for hanging

I am excited to have a piece in the upcoming open members exhibit of the Monotype Guild of New England (MGNE). “Pressing Matters” will be on view at Lynn Arts, (enter on 25 Exchange Street, Lynn, MA September 28 - November 2, 2018.

 Barbara and I chatted it up while waiting for artists to drop off their work

Barbara and I chatted it up while waiting for artists to drop off their work

I recently joined MGNE at the advice of some new printmaking friends and was quickly recruited to help with art work drop off this weekend. Also volunteering was artist Barbara Kedesdy and I enjoyed getting to know her a little better! We helped artists fill out the right forms, unwrap, and prepare to drop off their work. Many artists would bring multiple pieces from other artists in their section of New England as well as their own so a pretty big geographic range is represented in this show!

An artists reception will be held September 28, 5:30-7:30pm and the show is on view from the reception date through November 2,, 2018.

Here are a few snaps of some of the work that was dropped off today. A great variety of printmaking styles and themes - It is going to be a beautiful show!

 Barbara’s print in the center, surrounded by some other beautiful work!

Barbara’s print in the center, surrounded by some other beautiful work!

 All size works - love both of these pieces

All size works - love both of these pieces

 The center piece is a collage of monotypes

The center piece is a collage of monotypes

Summer 2018 Sketchbook Video

This summer I did a short sketchbook for our travels to NYC and the Adirondacks. I blogged about the trip a few weeks ago here.

Last summer, I did a larger (and longer) sketchbook that captured our many beach days. That flip thru was one of my very first videos... have a look here.

This summer, I kept it a little simpler, with more of a vibe of what we did during this trip on each page. Plus, I included some brush lettering practice. Have a look at this video and let me know what you think!

Collaboration with artist Jenny Sehlstedt - My Journal

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I participated in the Get Messy Season of Connections journal collaboration with artist Jenny Sehlstedt from Sweden. She and I have been sending these little journals back and forth for a 6+ months now. To review, we were paired up through random assignment from the Get Messy membership site. Following this, Jenny coordinated the journal creation and process that we would follow.  Jenny also submitted images from our journals to Brush Magazine and they are included in Issue 4 - Yay!

I shared the final version that will live with Jenny in this post... and today I am sharing the journal that will live with me! The first journal was definitely inspired by birds. I would say that this journal represents space, air, and motion throughout the pages. Jenny is sharing this on her blog this week also.

This experience and getting to know Jenny is something I will always treasure. I am so thankful to have been a part of this process, for Jenny's expert guidance, and that these were never lost in the mail!! 



 Front Cover with tree, was started by me and finished by Jenny. Back cover with fish was started by Jenny and finished by me!

Front Cover with tree, was started by me and finished by Jenny. Back cover with fish was started by Jenny and finished by me!

 Started by me and finished by Jenny

Started by me and finished by Jenny

 Started by me and finished by Jenny

Started by me and finished by Jenny

 Started by Jenny and finished by me

Started by Jenny and finished by me

 Started by Jenny and finished by me

Started by Jenny and finished by me

 Started by me and finished by Jenny

Started by me and finished by Jenny

 Started by me and finished, beautifully, by Jenny

Started by me and finished, beautifully, by Jenny

 Started by Jenny and finished by me

Started by Jenny and finished by me

Travelling with my art supplies

I recently traveled to NYC for an art-y meetup, so not only did I need my regular sketching kit, but I needed a few things to work with while we were hanging out making art together. I thought I would share what I usually pack for art making on a day trip and compare that to what I brought to NYC. 

My typical travel set-up for a day trip includes my travel watercolor kit (I have had this one for many years), a water brush (holds water in the handle), a pencil or two (plus extra eraser), a micron, and my sketchbook.

For my trip to NYC I included a few more items. We were travelling on foot, so I wanted to keep it light. In addition to the day-trip kit, I included a mini Messy Artist journal, my favorite midnight blue acrylic (Paper Artsy Fresco Finish, purchased here...not sure if they still have this color), small brushes, a glue pen (not pictured), some collage material, stapler, hole punch, scissors, and some mark making items (small circular stamps, etc). I also brought a handmade journal (not pictured...but I am planning a flip through soon!) and collected materials from our travels. While in NYC, I bought two brush pens and a gelli pen from Muji as well as the Kuretake white ink and sumi ink. I also collected lots of stuff from our travels, and included a fun art decisions dice my kids gave me. 

I put it all into a pencil case (my own from Society6) and a take out dumpling container!

Do you create when you travel? I'd love to hear what you pack! Happy travels!


Upcoming class Aug 11 - Sign up today!

carving leaf photo.jpg

I am going to be teaching my popular blockprinting class at the Newburyport Art Association on August 11 9:30-11:30. In this class, students will make at least two stamps: one using my provided sample images and one with a design of their own creation. 

The way I structure this class is to start with some sample designs to help students get comfortable with the tools, but not overwhelmed with a design that is too intricate. Then, once students are familiar with the tools, we work together to design a larger stamp. I have resource materials that students can use to sketch out a few ideas. We can discuss the intricacies of each student's design and learn from one another. Everyone who has attended this class leaves feeling excited about what they have made and happy to have learned a new skill! 

I provide all materials for students, but if you are interested in buying your own tools to use at home, I do have an Amazon Idea List set up with my recommended tools. 

A note, if you or a friend has ever wanted to try a class like this, Newburyport Art Association is offering this class at a great price, so this is a really great time to give it a try! Please sign up for the class today!

Original 100 Day Drawings for Sale

C_JBETHMANN Chickadee.jpg

When I started this project the idea of selling the prints didn't even cross my mind! Thanks to some encouraging words from friends near and far, I have decided to offer a few different ways to get your hands on these drawings. 

In my shop you'll find the following


1) Originals:  I have posted originals of the drawings that are most suitable for display. The ones I am offering will come signed and ready for you to frame as you wish. Prices range from $10 to $50 per print, which includes standard domestic U.S. shipping. Contact me first if you require international shipping.

2) Printables of a single image: I am offering a limited amount of images that you could print yourself at home. These include the word "Digital" prior to the title and noticeably cheaper; around $5 a piece.  You could frame a few of these up for a nice kitchen decorations!  A few, like this artichoke, are on vintage papers too. The digital images are for personal use only and not for resale. 


3) Collage Ephemera and Stickers: I have a few sticker sheets, 3" round grapefruit stickers, and some ephemera pages on vintage papers available as well. These range in size and price but are pretty affordable. The digital images are for personal use only and not for resale. 

If you would like a specific image or custom order (i.e. something on vintage paper that isn't), let me know and I'd be happy to put that together!  Please note, that some of the originals are on odd sized paper (wishing now I hadn't done that, right?) so that is why not all of the illustrations are available as originals.

Email me with any questions! Thanks for your support!

My 100 Day Project Step-by-Step

I thought I would share my process for the illustrations I did for the #the100dayproject. I started back in April thinking I would have a theme for each week, and I got (happily) stuck in the land of fruit, veggies, and flowers. After the mid-point I started branching out a little to give myself some variety. I have done a number of drawings that I never posted because they just didn't turn out. Like a pineapple, papaya, a bunch of birds, a thistle flower, some herbs... there are quiet a few! My daughter actually has the pineapple drawing hanging in her room - pretty sweet! 

I start by sketching out a few illustrations. Usually I do more than one, and then I land on the style I like the most. Then I darken the outlines and trace it onto watercolor paper using the light in the window. I am usually working on more than one drawing at this point. Once it is on watercolor paper, I add the micron pen detail, erase the pencil lines, and then start to add watercolor. Sometimes I do the watercolor first and leave the pencil lines until after.

Clean water for watercolor is the most important suggestion I could make in working with watercolors. I keep three water jars nearby. Depending on the colors I'm working with, I use one for yellow, one for red, and one for blue or green. If I am using a purple or black that will change it up. Working with muddy water really ruins the final result. I start with my largest brush and add washy color. I try to be patient and let each layer dry before adding smaller and smaller details of color. Letting the color dry in between layers especially at the beginning is also super important. I love the washy effects and happy accidents of working wet-on-wet, but this works best for me on a small scale at the very end of the process. For some of my flowers, I Iet the paint puddle and dry. These little birds in my example photos became more delicate with final details.

The painting comes together and this is where it becomes more of a daily project. Some finish quickly and others take a few days, so that influences what I post when. You can see the entire collection on my website, or on Twitter, where I have pretty much only posted these drawings. On my Instagram I have posted daily art making with this project as well, so there is lots more art overall to see there. 

I have put a few items on my Society6 page as well. Is there a specific drawing you would like a print of? Let me know!!  Next year I will sell originals, but I didn't even think of that when I started this 100 days ago....